The ice cream Jeff had made looked beautiful…all the colors swirled just right, an invitation to the perfect creamy summer treat.
But the flavors were all wrong.
Red tasted like orange, instead of raspberry or cherry. Or even apple.
The orange tasted like licorice.
Green looked like mint or pistachio. But it tasted like popcorn.
Yellow tasted like…he tasted it again…sunshine. Nothing else to describe it. It was wonderful on the tongue, fruity and fresh and creamy and sweet and tart—not too tart—all at once. But it was supposed to be lemon. He dipped his finger back into the left-over yellow and closed his eyes as the flavor tingled each taste bud.
Blue should’ve been blueberry. Yet it had a distinct garlic taste. Garlic ice cream? Really? As if he would ever do that!
And the purple. Worst of all. It tasted just like tunafish.
He saw the three judge’s faces crinkle in disgust as they tasted his rainbow ice cream cone. He would not be winning this competition.
Crud! He’d pulled out all the stops to win. The judges owned this famous creamery and were looking for a young up-and-coming partner. What could’ve happened?
He gazed over at the creamery’s famous Wall of Flavors just in time to see Michael messing with the “licorice” and “orange” labels two of the flavoring bottles. Well. That explained how his flavors got mixed up. But they would never have tunafish and garlic. He glared at his competitor.
But wait…that sunshine flavor still filled his mouth.
The judges hadn’t seen Michael switching the labels. Or the two presumably smelly containers that looked just like the Wall of Flavors bottles that practically hung out of the man’s apron pockets.
They were too busy gushing over Michael’s peppermint mocha ice cream.
He strode over to his competitor. “Funny joke, Michael. Switching the labels on the bottles.”
He shrugged. “Whatever it takes to win.”
True. With Michael as his competitor, it would have been smart to taste his ice cream bases before putting them in the ice cream maker. But he’d been making so many different flavors, he hadn’t had time. His overconfidence had beaten him.
“It’s okay. I just have one question.”
Michael shrugged again.
“Which label did you switch with the lemon flavoring?” He leaned against the wall nonchalantly.
Michael pointed. “The yellow one over there without the label. Banana? I don’t know.”
Thank goodness. “Like I said, funny joke,” he responded, as though it made no difference. Michael walked over to where the prize ceremony was getting ready to start.
Jeff sauntered over to where Michael had pointed on the Wall of Flavors and picked up the small yellow bottle without the label. He opened it and sniffed. Definitely not banana. It was that sunshine flavor.
He looked around. Everyone else was focused on the awarding of the prize to Michael. No one was looking.
He stuck it in his pocket.
Then he left.
This could make all the difference.